Brian Daboll matches wits with Nick Sirianni as Giants host Eagles

There’s a new twist in the rivalry between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles, which dates back to 1933.

In this year’s version, the Giants’ Brian Daboll (7-4-1) takes on the NFL-leading Eagles’ Nick Sirianni (11-1). It’s their first meeting as head coaches, but they go back a decade.

Daboll was offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs under Romeo Crennel in 2012 when they decided to give Sirianni his first position coaching job and put him in charge of wide receivers.

“We didn’t have a great year,” said Sirianni, who, like Daboll, grew up in western New York. “We were 2-14 years old, probably one of the toughest years I’ve had professionally. But it was one of the years I grew the most as a coach because of Brian Daboll, the things he taught me about the game of football, things that I still use to this day.”

The pair sound similar when talking about football, focusing on one game at a time and improving every day in training. Little mention of big picture or down-the-road scenarios.

They dodge discussion of playoff implications, even though the Eagles can snag a berth this week with either a win or a tie. Philadelphia comes in with the best record in the NFL, third-ranked offense and No. 2 defense.

“I think Nick is a fantastic coach, I’ve known him for a while,” said Daboll. “He gets the best out of his guys and they play at a really high level. That’s why they’re the best team in the league.”

After a 6-1 start to Daboll’s rookie season as head coach, the Giants have slipped in recent weeks. They’re 1-3-1 and have a 20-all tie with Washington in a game where they squandered a late seven-point lead.

While the Giants need the win a lot more than the Eagles, Daboll isn’t changing his approach this week. He looks at what he can do to help his own team and then focuses on the opposition’s tendencies, their key players and what could be exploited.

Bottom Line: It’s just another game for Daboll and Sirianni, who has led his team 2-5 to an 18-4 record since the start of his debut season.


Jalen Hurts’ last visit to MetLife Stadium on November 28, 2021 was not a very memorable one. He was 14 of 31 for 129 yards, threw three interceptions and was released once in a 13-7 loss.

Since then, the only games Philadelphia has lost have been the 2021 regular-season finals against Dallas, the wildcard playoff game against the Bucs, and against Washington on November 14.

Daboll was Alabama’s offensive coordinator for a year while Hurts was there.

“He’s more competitive and mentally tough than ever,” said Daboll. “He’s a great team-mate. Unfortunately, we have to play them twice a year. Very happy with the success he’s had. Again, he’s a special young man for me and he’s just a tough guy mentally. Nothing adds up him out of peace.”


The Giants have been without top cornerback Adoree Jackson for two games because of a knee injury.

Dallas and Washington took advantage of his absence. CeeDee Lamb of the Cowboys had six catches for 106 yards on Thanksgiving. The Commanders’ Terry McLaurin had eight catches for 105 yards and a TD on Sunday.

Two Eagles receivers had 100-yard plays against Tennessee last week. AJ Brown had eight receptions for 119 yards and two touchdowns, and DeVonta Smith had five catches for 102 yards and a TD.


The Giants were kept under 100 yards in losses to Detroit and Dallas. They gained 134 yards on 30 carries in the tie with Washington last weekend.

The difference may have been the return of right tackle Evan Neal (knee) and rookie tight Daniel Bellinger (eye), both injured against Jacksonville on Oct. 23.

Saquon Barkley scored on a 13-yard run against the Commanders on a game Neal, right guard Mark Glowinski, center Jon Feliciano and left guard Nick Gates created a huge hole.


This will be Eagles cornerback James Bradberry’s first game at MetLife Stadium since the Giants fired him as part of a salary cap this spring, saving the team $10 million.

The straight-keel Bradberry has 14 passes defended and three interceptions this season.


The Giants had hoped that sophomore Azeez Ojulari and rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux would give them dynamic edge rushers.

The linebackers missed the first two games of the season through injury. They started the next two and then Ojulari missed the next seven with a calf injury. He returned as a backup last week and the Giants had five sacks. Thibodeaux and Ojulari each had one. Ojulari added a forced fumble and a recovery to his sack.

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